LOOKING BACK 100 Years Ago
May 11, 1912
THE king, Edward VII, had to spend the night in The Solent after his yacht got held up in thick fog.
The king was making his way from Portsmouth to Weymouth when the fog came down, forcing the royal yacht, Victoria and Albert, to anchor off Yarmouth.
With no sign of the fog clearing, it was decided the royal yacht should stay in The Solent overnight.
The telegraphist from the yacht was sent to the Island to send a message from the post office.
Islanders rallied to support a fund set up for the sufferers of the Titanic disaster.
A number of concerts were held across the Island to raise money for the fund, while churches and residents made contributions.
At Ventnor Park, the Anglo-Bavarian Band performed, raising £11, and a concert in Cowes raised £15.
St Mary’s Church, Brading, donated £17, and St Helens Parish Church handed over £6.
75 Years Ago
May 15, 1937
The Polish ship, Grom, one of the largest and most heavily armed destroyers in the world, was handed over to representatives of the Polish Republic by its builders, J. Samuel White and Co.
Capt W. B. Steyer, president of the Polish acceptance committee, plus other officers of the Polish navy, were received by the company’s managing director, A. T. Wall.
Immediately after the official handover, the Polish flag hoisted on board the vessel.
Celebrations were held across the Island as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were crowned at Westminster.
Every town and village celebrated the coronation and there was scarcely a house without the colours of red, white and blue on display.
Among the celebrations was a feast, held in Yarmouth, where an ox was roasted whole.
Ventnor Council passed plans for a proposed zoological gardens at Steephill.
50 Years Ago
May 12, 1962
An airliner with 14 passengers on board crashed on St Boniface Down, killing ten people.
It was almost a year to the day when three young men were killed in a plane crash on St Catherine’s Down, when a Dakota, on a scheduled flight to Portsmouth from Jersey, came down in thick fog.
Prompt action by a Wroxall farmer, Edward Price, plus the emergency services, saved some of the people from the inferno, although little could be done for those trapped inside.
Fifty nuns knelt at prayer were unaware a fire was raging in their three-storey dormitory.
The nuns had left their dormitory at St Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, to walk to the nearby church for morning mass, when a fire broke out in the top storey of their sleeping quarters.
Two workmen, who were passing by, rescued a French nun trapped inside, before firefighters arrived.
It took two hours to bring the blaze under control, using water from the seafront canoe lake.
Newlyweds John and Jacqueline Miller spent their wedding night being treated by paramedics.
The couple were being driven home from their wedding when the car they were travelling in hit a bank and overturned, in Upper Ventnor, in fog.
The couple were treated for shock and minor injuries, while two other passengers were taken to hospital with facial injuries.
25 Years Ago
May 15, 1987
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Ryde for the first visit for 22 years by the Queen and Prince Philip.
The Royal couple sailed from Portsmouth to see a replica fleet of square riggers, which had assembled off Fishbourne, before they were transferred to a barge that brought them to the Island.
On their arrival, the Red Arrows flew overhead, leaving red, white and blue vapours in their trails.
The royal couple met some of the hundreds of residents as they walked down Union Street.
The women’s world windsurfing champion, Penny Way, officially opened the new IW Windsurfing School at Tollgate Beach Club, Seaview.
Penny, who was from the Island, met the owner of the school, Mr D. Darbishire, while on an instructor course at the National Sailing Centre, Cowes.
The school catered for all ages and standards.
A space flight simulator was the latest attraction at Blackgang Chine. The hydraulically operated machine, driven by a three-phase electric motor, recreated the effect of space flight.
Passengers were seated on either side of a central gangway facing a film screen and a computerised pilot flew the machine from an imaginary flight deck.
10 Years Ago
May 17, 2002
The prison service wanted to create a new 500-inmate jail at Parkhurst.
The application was in addition to plans already announced to create a 40-inmate block at Albany Jail.
The new jail would be surrounded by a five-metre fence, although it was unknown what type of offenders would be held there.
Plans to build a dry ski slope on a former football pitch were thrown out.
The latest proposal by Raymond Mullins, of Kent, who owned the former Fairway Park football ground in Sandown, was thrown out due to the potential loss of a playing field site.